what are they, what do they do, and how they do it
Parasites are a topic that isn’t discussed much. But the truth is, 60% of the population is affected by parasites! They are more common in developed countries than ever before and contribute to many health problems.
Parasites are one of many toxins we encounter daily. They do not affect everyone, and it is normal to have a certain level of parasites in the body. It’s when they become opportunistic that it becomes a problem. This happens when the body’s immune defenses aren’t strong enough when there’s an imbalance in gut bacteria. The increased burden of toxic exposure from our environment often weakens our ability to process and eliminate.
When parasites become opportunistic, they can trigger various health issues, including gut disturbances, like irritable bowel syndrome and autoimmune diseases.
Let’s discuss parasites in more detail and start with what a parasite is. Parasites are pathogens that live on or inside other organisms. They are harmful and depend on the expense of their host for nourishment and range in size from being nanoscopic to visible to the naked eye.
Microscopic parasites live inside the cell, such as red blood cells or fat cells. Larger worms (helminths) live in the spaces between your cells, with the ability to invade muscles, lymph, gut, lungs, liver, and other organs and tissues. CellCore
Now that we know what a parasite is let’s talk about the damage a parasite can do to the body.
Parasites can cause internal disruption in the body, leading to headaches, itching, and digestive distress, frequently showing up as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Not only do they disrupt normal functions of the body, but they also carry co-infections such as viruses, mold, and Lyme. What does this mean? If you don’t clear the parasites, you don’t remove the co-infections.
Type of damage a parasite can do
- Blockage of internal organs such as intestines, bile ducts, lymphatic system, and blood flow through the liver
- Inflammation and damage to the bile ducts
- Large fluid-filled cysts in liver, lungs, brain, or body cavities
- Neurological symptoms (vision issues, headaches, seizures)
- Damage to the mucosal lining of the intestines and other tissues due to their ability to migrate
- Hypersensitivity & allergies both food and environmental
- Joint pain & edema due to local allergic reaction
- Intestinal transit time can be reduced depending on the type of parasite
As you see by this list, parasites can cause damage, and they are also smart. They can evade and manipulate the immune system by changing form, so your immune cells don’t recognize them. They also can HIDE. These sneaky little buggers do everything in their power not to be recognized by the immune system so they can continue feeding off the host.
The best way to determine if you have parasites is to schedule an appointment with us and take the Toxicity Assessment Questionnaire. As a functional medicine practitioner, I can provide the proper guidance and full health support during the process. A periodic parasite cleanse is beneficial for everyone, especially if persistent symptoms are present.
Contact our office or schedule online to discuss.